Wake Dems Weekly Update: 2018 WDCP Annual County Convention

Welcome!

This Wake County Democratic Party Annual Convention is this Saturday from 1pm to 6pm at the Raleigh Convention Center! The Agenda for the event is now available. We look forward to seeing everyone!

State Board of Elections Confusion Continues

On Monday, the three judge panel hearing the case of Cooper vs. Berger I, relating to the merger and makeup of the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, issued a decision. They agreed with the North Carolina Supreme Court that a law passed by the Republican-led General Assembly in 2016 should be partially struck down. However, the panel did not address the underlying issue of the case - the constitutionality of the GOP-lead NCGA’s merger of the two Boards.

Adding to even more confusion, House Bill 90, which the NCGA passed back in early February, expands the Board of Elections to nine (9) members - four Republicans, four Democrats, and one Unaffiliated - which are all chosen by the Governor from lists provided by the parties. The law also gives the Governor power to fire Board members at will. Governor Cooper did not veto the Bill but is allowing the Bill to become law on March 16th without his signature.

At this time, Wake is one of twenty-five (25) County Boards of Election to have only two seated members on a three-member board. These appointments are made by the State Board of Elections, which is the subject of the current merger lawsuits. Without a fully-functioning State Board of Elections, these county boards are unable to fulfill their duties.

On Wednesday, Governor Cooper officially asked the state Supreme Court to clarify and enforce its mandate to the three judge panel. The Governor requested that the Court declare the merger of the boards “void and without legal effect.”

DACA in Limbo

In September 2017, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, put in place by President Obama in 2012, was being terminated. A final date of March 5, 2018, for the program was announced.

The DACA program provides legal protections for undocumented persons who were brought to the US as children. It allows for recipients to work and pursue higher education without fear of deportation. Participants are required to be under the age of 31 and enrolled in school, the military, or working full time, and to have no criminal record. Recipients must be reapproved every two (2) years.

That deadline passed this week and the DACA program is still in limbo. Multiple lawsuits were filed across the United States to stop the termination. Two of those cases have resulted in rulings halting the federal government from ending the program and forcing the continued acceptance of DACA renewal applications. Congress has been unable to come to a bipartisan resolution to the issue.

DACA is a federal issue, but is one that hits close to home for North Carolina and Wake County, in particular. Our state is home to 27,385 approved DACA recipients, one of the largest populations in the country. Estimates project that ending DACA will cost NC $1.2 billion over the next decade.

Early Voting and Absentee Ballots for May Primaries

The #BlueWave and our plan to #BreaktheMajority begins with the May 8th primaries. Be sure to mark your calendars!

Is your voter registration up to date? You can check the status of your registration and view your primary ballot at the Voter Search page offered by the State Board of Elections. Be sure to confirm that your address and affiliation are correct. You have until April 13th to make any updates prior to the May 8th primaries.

Voters can begin requesting absentee ballots for the May 8th primaries on March 19th. You can request your ballot using this form from the State Board of Elections. Absentee ballots must be postmarked on or before May 8th to be counted.

Early Voting for the May 8th primaries begins on April 19th at the Wake County Board of Elections and on April 26th at all other Early Voting sites. Early voting runs through May 5th.

What Are Your Budget Priorities?

Did you know local government impacts your life more than some federal issues? We need to stay active and make our voices heard.

If you live in Raleigh, your city wants to hear from you! The FY2018 Resident Budget Priorities Survey is now available. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and provide your input on the direction of the city.